.

The Dark Backward

Judd Nelson, Bill Paxton

Directed by Adam Rifkin
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
July 26, 1991

How often do you see Judd Nelson, Rob Lowe, James Caan, Wayne Newton and Lara Flynn Boyle in the same film? Never again, if fate is kind. Director Adam Rifkin wrote the script for this comedy six years ago when he was nineteen. The result would be more excusable if he had written it nineteen years ago when he was six.

The plot concerns Marty Malt (Nelson), a nerdy garbageman who moonlights as a stand-up comic. Nobody laugha at Marty's jokes, except his buddy Gus (Bill Paxton), but then Gus likes screwing grossly obese women and licking a nude corpse he finds at the dump.

Like Marty's romance with the waitress Rosarita (Boyle), his career is going nowhere. Then a small lump on his back grows into an arm. Dr. Scurvy (Caan) covers it with bandages, but Marty's third limb forces itself into his act. The slimy agent Jackie Chrome (Newton) signs Marty, and the slimier talent scout Dirk Delta (Lowe, with a hooknose and buckteeth) books him on TV. Marty's jokes still fall flat. He gets by on freak appeal.

Rifkin might be hoping the same thing for his movie. Fat chance. Instead of the high satire of How to Get Ahead in Achertising (in which a boil on Richard E. Grant's neck grows into a talking head), Rifkin has conjured up a new low in cinematic ineptitude.

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bleeding Love”

    Leona Lewis | 2007

    In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com